Tanjung Dawai, Kedah – there is more rather than Belacan, Malaysia

Tanjung Dawai, Kedah – there is more rather than Belacan, Malaysia

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I consider this place as my hometown, although I only spent less than a third of my life growing up there, after I was born. Kedah, is one of Malaysia’s two states neighbouring Thailand. Minus Langkawi, the famous duty free island, there are very few recommended places for travel in this state. The state is known for its rice production; giving you an immediate access to the beauty of rice fields – either you ride a train or on a bus/car, it seems like the rice fields are almost everywhere.

I spare the story about rice fields in another entry. There is a place in Kedah that I have visited several times (there is a special travel video made for this), which recently had surprised me with a completely different view. It changes the image I had before about this place.

A forty minutes drive from the second largest city of Kedah, Tanjung Dawai is well-known among the locals for its seafood products – especially their belacan, dried anchovies, dried and salted fish as well as dried shrimps. It is actually a humble and small fishing town. Since its sea area are mainly for the fishermen and boats, the beach here is definitely not a place for you to throw yourself into. Instead, you would experience mud flats and clean seaside area – a perfect spot for you to be amazed by the beauty of the sea.

During the evening, alongside the seaside, the seafood restaurants will begin to switch on their lights and calling for customers. Many would go there before dusk to watch sunset while dining at the restaurants. My parents love to bring my siblings and I to Tanjung Dawai for seafood; freshly supplied by the local fishermen, cheap and undoubtedly tasty.

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Usually we do not wait for sunset, but the view of the sea and the horizon at dusk has never failed to impress me. However, my last visit to that place really surprised me. The sun was a bit shy, as the sky had been mildly covered by clouds. The usual dusky scenery there would include birds flying back home, an almost yellowish and greyish sky as the sun begin to descend down to the horizon as well as the calm wide open sea in front.

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Honestly, I could not actually find the right word to describe that evening. I have never seen so many variations of the colour blue for both the sky and the sea. The moment I was entering the car, it made me realized how things could be so easily taken for granted – just like this place. I was excited when I first came to Tanjung Dawai few years back, and of course since it has become a balik kampong routine, the concept of observing more of the nature had slowly faded as I was looking forward to the seafood experience with family more.

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For those who happened to stop by in Sungai Petani or are in the Merbok area to visit the Lembah Bujang Archeological Site & Museum, make sure you make a short trip to Tanjung Dawai, especially in evening.

/// Written by Makiko Saba, Malaysia